Browse shows

Theatre for one actor, one audience member at a time

Published on 21 June 2019

Theatre between a single actor and a single audience member at a time

DEURnis / Uzwelo one-on-one is an award-winning, exciting new immersive theatre experience and a first for South Africa. As site-specific theatre, solo plays will be performed in different spaces in the PJ Oliver building for a single audience member at a time, making for a groundbreaking and very intimate experience.

The title of the project – DEURnis / Uzwelo – is derived from the words ‘deur’ (door) and ‘deernis’ and ‘Uzwelo’ (compassion and empathy). Behind the door that leads an audience member to the performance lies an experience that takes an honest, stripped-down and often sober look at emotional and everyday issues.

DEURnis won the 2018 kykNET Blue Fiësta Award for most innovative theatre, the 2017 ATKV-Woordveertjie Award for Best New Script, the Best production (Freestate) at the 2018 Freestate Arts Festival, and was nominated for Best Overall Production at the 2017 Aardklop National Arts Festival. Its actors were nominated for Best New Actor (Dewald van der Merwe for Rou, 2018 kykNET Fiësta Awards and 2017 Aardklop Awards) and Best Actor (Ben Pienaar for Net, 2019 WoordTROfees).

“I was bowled over. The substance is in the writing, the performance and the direction.It’s going to be exciting to watch how this develops, reaches out, expands and crosses genres, ages and cultures all over the country. It can work anywhere.” – Diane de Beer, The Star Tonight

For the first time, Theatrerocket’s award-winning DEURnis artists will be collaborating with the Windybrow Art Centre and Market Theatre Laboratory’s KWASHA! group at the National Arts Festival, presenting 12 plays on the Main Programme.

In Group 1, audience members will see:

  • KOUD / COLD: A schoolboy with a secret. Forbidden love that should be kept secret at all costs. How long can you keep that, which may not be, from the world, before it overtakes you? With Leroux van Diemen. Written and directed by Henque Heymans. Language: Afrikaans
  • KGOHO / CHICKEN: A man sells chickens in the basement of a building in Joburg city. The SPCA is not happy. He goes overboard to prove he cares for the chickens. He has an unhealthy relationship with the chickens, naming them and treating them like his children, reading to them and preparing them candle-lit dinners. With Vusi Nkwenkwezi. Written by Vusi Nkwenkwezi . Directed by Matthews Rantsoma. Language: Sesotho
  • KWAS: Esther is a model and loves posing for artists. But she has difficulty staying put and keeping quiet. Between art and reality, some humorous and dark histories are bared. With Candice Botha. Written by Braam van der Vyver. Directed by Èmil Haarhoff. Language: Afrikaans

In Group 2, audience members will see:

  • WOMB: That very first breath, the initial inhale and the cutting of the cord. From the womb into this world, your journey with your twin is about to start… With Thulisile Nduvane. Written by Thulisile Nduvane and Keitu Gwangwa. Directed by Aalliyah Matintela. Language: English
  • GONE: Beckett said that we are born astride a grave. Each day that passes, brings us one day closer to the end. I know this but I understand it not. I still ask, where did you go? Changed forever. One minute you were there, the next you were gone. With Renos Nicos Spanoudes. Written by Renos Nicos Spanoudes. Directed by Lihan Pretorius. Language: English and Greek
  • ISIQHELO / THE USUAL: Life is fragile, dark and strange. A young woman is in the doctor’s waiting room, about to have her third back street abortion. But could the tables be turning…? With Aalliyah Matintela. Written by Aalliyah Matintela. Directed by Sibahle Mangena. Language: IsiXhosa and English

In Group 3, audience members will see:

  • CNTRL: Social media has become a web of emotional addictions, entangling more and more people. Often, it’s all about control. Become emerged in a world where posts, hashtags and emoticons decide your fate. With Sibahle Mangena. Written by Sibahle Mangena. Directed by Aalliyah Matintela. Choreography Sinenhlanhla Mgeyi. Language: Movement and English
  • ROU / RAW: Jantjie’s most precious – and only – possession, his Gummy Bears t-shirt, doesn’t fit him at all. As victim of human trafficking, he had to learn overnight sex is more than undressing and kissing. With Dewald van der Merwe. Written by Henque Heymans. Directed by Esther Rossouw. Language: Afikaans or English
  • LEGODIMONG / HEAVEN: You did it – you ended your life because you couldn’t go on. But now you regret it and have to barter with God to send you back! With Molatelo Maffa. Written by Molatelo Maffa. Directed by Thulisile Nduvane. Language: Sepedi and English

In Group 4, audience members will see:

  • BANG: A young bride gets cold feet minutes before her big day. Bang addresses the Millennial generation’s fear for long-term commitment in relationships. Does she have to….or not? With Mia-Anne O’Kennedy. Written by Shareen Swart. Directed by Debeer Cloete. Language: Afrikaans
  • OMNIBUS: A man with acute short-term memory loss is stuck at his wedding day – but his wife has long passed. He has no memory of it and is reliving it constantly. With Sinenhlanhla Mgeyi. Written by Aalliyah Matintela and Sinenhlanhla Mgeyi. Directed by Vusi Nkwenkwezi. Language: Tsotsi taal
  • DREAM: We all dream … we look forward to that unlikely, but achievable, one day. Dream invites you – just for a moment – to escape there and become part of this multimedia production. Concept, choreography and performance by Ignatius van Heerden. Directed by Lihan Pretorius. Animation Naret Loots. Presented in association with leftfoot productions. Language: Movement

Each play lasts about 20 minutes, and the audience member moves from one room to the next to experience the different performances. The whole experience, including short breaks in between performances, lasts for around 90 to 100 minutes. 

Due to the nature of this production, tickets are limited so secure your spot soon.